Competitive Corner: Evilswarm

Joe Soto

6/19/2013 1:20:00 PM

How's it going TCGplayers? Over the past few weeks I've gone over the more popular decks of the current format as we dive further into World Championship Qualifier season. So far I've covered the two current juggernauts of the Advanced Format, Dragon Rulers and Prophecy. But there's still one more deck that deserves the spotlight: Evilswarm.

Introduced at YCS New Jersey, Evilswarms were seen as the foil to the then top deck, Mermails. Now, Evilswarms are the best strategy at countering the top dogs in Dragon Rulers and Prophecy. Backed by the powerful ability of Evilswarm Ophion, which locks out opposing duelists from Special Summoning big monsters, and bolstered by powerful protection spells like Forbidden Dress and Safe Zone, Evilswarm duelists can shut down aggressive opponents and take complete control of the game.

This week I'll be looking at one of the more successful builds of Evilswarm, this one from the Frederick, MD Regional Qualifier on June 2nd. As always, let's start with the deck list!

    Evilswarm Naveen (Shankar?)     
  Location:  Regional - 2013-6-2 Frederick Maryland - 5th - 8th Place
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Effect Veiler
1 Evilswarm Azzathoth
3 Evilswarm Castor
3 Evilswarm Heliotrope
3 Evilswarm Kerykeion
3 Evilswarm Mandragora
3 Maxx "C"
2 Rescue Rabbit
Monsters [19]
1 Dark Hole
3 Forbidden Dress
1 Heavy Storm
3 Infestation Pandemic
1 Monster Reborn
1 Reinforcement of the Army
Spells [10]
3 Compulsory Evacuation Device
1 Infestation Infection
3 Safe Zone
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Solemn Warning
2 Torrential Tribute
Traps [11]
Deck Total [40]
3 Dimensional Fissure
2 Effect Veiler
3 Eradicator Epidemic Virus
1 Evilswarm Azzathoth
3 Imperial Iron Wall
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
Side Deck [15]


1 Abyss Dweller
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Evilswarm Bahamut
1 Evilswarm Nightmare
3 Evilswarm Ophion
1 Evilswarm Ouroboros
1 Evilswarm Thanatos
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Gem-Knight Pearl
1 King of the Feral Imps
1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1 Number 16: Shock Master
1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
Extra Deck [15]

A lot's changed since YCS New Jersey. Evilswarm now have access to Evilswarm Kerykeion thanks to the release of Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy, giving them another tool for a one-card Xyz Summon. What's really unique about this build, however, is the exclusion of one of the more popular Evilswarm monsters, Evilswarm Thunderbird.

While Thunderbird's a resilient threat that can dodge all types of removal, it doesn't really help accomplish the goal of making an Ophion and keeping it on the field. These card slots are better put towards the playset of Evilswarm Keryekion, and a newcomer in Evilswarm Azzathoth. One of the more overlooked goodies from Hidden Arsenal 7: Knight of Stars, Azzathoth gives Evilswarms an additional out to powerful Xyz or Synchro Summons. What's even better is that against anything else, Azzathoth sends the monster back into the deck, forcing your opponent to try and draw that threat again. And at 1950 DEF, only the now rarely-seen Gene-Warped Warwolf can swing over Azzathoth with ease. It should also be noted that Azzathoth is searchable with King of the Feral Imps, giving you easy access to this universal out.

The rest of the monster lineup is pretty standard. Three copies of Evilswarm Heliotrope support the two copies of Rescue Rabbit, the ubiquitous one-card Xyz Summon. Three Evilswarm Castor and Evilswarm Mandragora are your main engine for Xyz Summons alongside the aforementioned Kerykeion. The monsters are rounded out by a playset of Maxx "C" to help to draw into further protection as well as giving you an answer for when your Ophion gets stopped by Breakthrough Skill, and a lone Effect Veiler to stop that backbreaking Number 11: Big Eye or Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack. It's also effective against any Prophecy build still using High Priestess of Prophecy, as they're hurt more by Evilswarm Ophion.

Moving onto the spells, three copies of Forbidden Dress have become the norm. Even with the massive decline of Fire Fists, Dress protects your Ophion from anything that can harm it before you can search your Infestation Pandemic; stuff like Bottomless Trap Hole and Torrential Tribute. Dress can also be effective at defending your Ophion after a Dragon Ruler duelist shuts it down with Breakthrough Skill. Three Infestation Pandemic give you the maximum number of targets to search for with your Ophions, and serves as your best defense against cards that have already targeted your monsters. It's great against things that don't destroy as well, such as Prophecy's best weapon, Spellbook of Fate. Between these two Quickplay spells, you're prepared for almost anything your opponents can throw at you. Infestation Pandemic's easier to use than Safe Zone, and it's especially important in the mirror match since it defends you from Compulsory Evacuation Device.

The rest of the spells are pretty standard, with the new trinity of Monster Reborn, Dark Hole, and Heavy Storm. A lone Reinforcement of the Army is played to search out Evilswarm Castor, and additional search power is always beneficial.

The strength of Evilswarms lies in protecting Ophion at all costs, and while Forbidden Dress and Infestation Pandemic excel at taking care of spell and trap threats, your own Traps are what will protect you from a flurry of Special Summons. Solemn Judgment and Solemn Warning are must-haves, as being able to just say "No" is invaluable in a format with powerful threats like Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack and Spellbook of Judgment. As previously mentioned, Compulsory Evacuation Device is your all-star trap, getting rid of any Xyz or Synchro Monster with ease. Although Dragon Rulers can often remake their Xyz Monsters on the same turn, Compulsory is a huge tempo swing in your favor and forces Dragon duelists to commit more of their resources. It's also a great trick in the End Phase of your opponent's turn to clear the way for a big attack.

 Evilswarm Kerykeion
Evilswarm Kerykeion68136
Set Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy
Number LTGY-EN094
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1600 / 1550
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

You can only use each effect of "Evilswarm Kerykeion" once per turn. While this card is in the Graveyard, if it was sent there this turn, you can Normal Summon 1 "lswarm" monster for 1 less Tribute. // You can banish 1 "lswarm" monster from your Graveyard; then target 1 "lswarm" monster in your Graveyard; add that target to your hand, also, this card gains the following effect. // * This turn: You can activate this effect; Normal Summon 1 "lswarm" monster.

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
KCs Card Corner 1st Edition - Heavily Played 1 $0.50
IDeal808 1st Edition - Moderately Played 1 $0.57
Auggie's Games Unlimited - Lightly Played 1 $0.73
CoreTCG Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $0.79
The End Zone Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $0.80
The Next Level Games Unlimited - Lightly Played 1 $0.81
Kirwan's Game Store 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.82
Auggie's Games Unlimited - Lightly Played 1 $0.89
The End Zone 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.90
adventuresON Unlimited - Near Mint 2 $0.96

Three Safe Zone make up the other protective traps; there's almost nothing better than having a Safe Zone on your Evilswarm Ophion. With many strategies relegating Mystical Space Typhoon to the Side Deck, putting Safe Zone on one of your best monsters is a much safer play Game 1. Dragon Rulers' only Main Deck outs are usually just Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos' effect or Heavy Storm, with Typhoons coming out of the Side (Dracossack is also an out, but with Ophion on the field that shouldn't be a problem). You can even use Safe Zone as removal when your opponent targets it with Typhoon. Just chain it and target one of your opponent's monsters, and enjoy the sweet +1 when your opponent's monster is removed. That said, keep in mind that timing your Safe Zone can be tricky. Remember that it doesn't stop effects that have already targeted your monster, so if you need to get Safe Zone up to protect yourself it's often best to use it preemptively, often during your opponent's Standby Phase or End Phase to play around traps or normal spells.

Torrential Tribute may seem a bit awkward in a strategy that relies on protecting your own monsters, but the ability to just clear a board and stop a push is too good to ignore. Control decks often have trouble fighting back when your opponent makes a big press, and Torrential Tribute is one of the cards that gives you a shot at getting back in the game.

The last trap on the list is a one-of Infestation Infection, but the fact that it can be searched by Ophion means one copy is all you need. What makes Infection so powerful is the ability to put back cards like Heliotrope for more useful ones like Evilswarm Castor or Evilswarm Kerykeion, while also enabling a Rescue Rabbit which may have needed a second Normal monster back in the deck. Cycling through your hand to get the exact monster you need is incredibly powerful. Would I advocate more than one copy? No, but I'd advise you all to give Infection a try.

Side Deck Tech
The Side Deck only has six cards, but they each serve their own purpose against the other top decks. Three copies each of Dimensional Fissure and Imperial Iron Wall are your biggest weapons against Dragon Rulers going into Games 2 and 3. Not only does it stop the occasional hand trap, Dimensional Fissure completely shuts down the baby Dragons and forces your opponent to banish monsters from their hand in order to get big Dragon Rulers into play. Imperial Iron Wall is just another stopgap, stopping the big Dragon effects by keeping your opponent from banishing cards. It's also pretty decent against Prophecy since it shuts down Spellbook of Fate.

Three Eradicator Epidemic Virus serve as your trump card in the Prophecy matchup, as there's almost nothing they can do to recover from it apart from having a Spellbook Magician of Prophecy and a Spellbook of Judgment in hand. Eradicator also helps against other trap heavy decks, and is always effective against the dreaded Chain Burn.

Two additional Effect Veilers shine against Prophecy but also serve you well against other archetypes like Fire Fists and Mermails, which you may still see at your WCQ. A single Evilswarm Azzathoth in the Side Deck gives you a slight edge in the mirror match and other grindy matchups.

Lastly, three Mystical Space Typhoon come in for the mirror match, letting you play around opposing Safe Zones and forcing out quick-play spells like Forbidden Dress and Infestation Pandemic at awkward times.

General Strategy
Evilswarm's strategy has remained pretty much the same since Evilswarm Ophion was released. Lock down your opponent's Special Summons, then control the pace of the game with your traps and protection spells. Evilswarms give you the best strategy to combat the format's nemesis in Dragon Rulers (unless you want to play Dragon Rulers yourself).

While the deck may seem a bit too slow for a format with Dragon Rulers and Spellbook of Judgment, Evilswarm Ophion's ability to shut off Special Summons is well positioned against the other top decks, and the high trap count gives you plenty of instances to make well-timed plays against your opponent. If Spellcasters or Dragons aren't your cup of tea, then I can't recommend enough that you give the Evilswarm menace a try.

~Joe Soto

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